Food & Drink

Now you can have booze with your blowout

A haircut from Anthony Giannotti in 30 seconds

Anthony Giannotti cuts a customer's hair.
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Anthony Giannotti cuts a customer's hair.

Citrusy stouts, spritzes garnished with an orange or an olive, or a chilled rosé – whatever you’re drinking this summer, you can do it while getting the big chop or cleaning up your sideburns at your friendly neighborhood barbershop or salon.

Under AB 1322, which went into effect Jan. 1, hair stylists are allowed to serve a small, complimentary glass of wine or beer to their customers, making it legal for upscale salon chains like Drybar and 18|8 Fine Men’s Salon to honor the shearing of your too-hot-for-July beard with a toast, as long your mug of beer is capped at 12 ounces and your glass of wine at 6, and you’re over 21.

Some specialty shops like Bottle and Barlow – a bar/barbershop hybrid on R Street in downtown Sacramento – already served alcohol because they have a liquor license. Now Drybar and other salons will have the freedom to delight clients the way limousine and hot air balloon ride services have for years.

“The Drybar experience is all about relaxing, enjoying yourself and getting the confidence that comes with a great blowout in the process,” said Drybar founder Alli Webb, who pushed for the new law. “Having the option of enjoying a glass of wine or bubbly during your visit is something we’re happy to be able to offer. Breezing in for a blowout and sipping on a drink is a great way to chill this summer.”

Bottle and Barlow founder Anthony Giannotti has served beer at his shop for years, citing old-timers as his inspiration. To his customers, barbershops and bars always have gone hand in hand.

“I’ve talked to barbers that have been cutting hair since the ’50s, and they always say that guys would just bring in beer and hang out,” Giannotti said. “(Appointments are) the way everything’s going now, but until recently, most barbershops were walk-ins, so you’d have a few hours to wait. What else are you going to do with the boys?”

Though salons may try to provide a higher-end experience with fine wines and champagnes, Giannotti thinks anything will do, especially during the region’s hot summer months.

“We get a big rush when it first gets hot because people are like, ‘I’m hot – what can I do?’ ” Giannotti said. “It’s like that line in ‘Napoleon Dynamite’: ‘I realized that it was my hair that was making my head hot. So I went into my kitchen and I shaved it all off.’ 

Rennie Svirnovskiy: 916-321-1013, @RennieYS